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It takes a special kind of creative self-awareness to allow a story to be exactly as long as it needs to be. The temptation to either heavily inflate or drastically cut a word count in order to fit within certain generally accepted literary parameters is significant, so it’s impressive when a writer is capable of staying utterly true to the tale.

Joe Hill has embraced that notion with his latest book “Strange Weather” (William Morrow, $27.99), a collection of four short novels. Rather than force these narratives to be more than what they are, Hill simply tells the stories as they wish to be told. They’re lean and sharp, with nary an ounce of prosaic fat on any of their bones.

And oh yeah – they’re all excellent.

Published in Buzz

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